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Media Spreads Fake News with VPC Silencer Disinformation

Media Spreads Fake News with VPC Silencer Disinformation
That’s a big claim VPC is making. So why doesn’t the media even try to determine if it’s true before expecting the public to swallow it whole?

“Study Shows Firearm Silencers Threaten Public Safety, “ NJToday “reported” Monday in what could better be described as a press release for the virulently anti-gun Violence Policy Center.  Calling a handful of isolated anecdotes woven into an attack piece a “study” is the first bit of deception. Presenting those anecdotes and VPC’s conclusion without even attempting to consult someone who might actually know what he’s talking about is a good indication that the “staff reporters” are flacks fraudulently promulgating agenda politics rather than investigating and reporting in a manner consistent with any semblance of ethics or respect for canons of journalism.

That makes them disrespectful of their readers. They’re also lazy. The anecdotal bullet points NJToday lists are lifted word-for-word from the VPC presser.

The “study” itself consists of summaries of a handful of cherry-picked media accounts presented with the obligatory VPC charged term hyperbole, that is, terms designed to gin up the hysteria like “white supremacist … serial killer,” and the surefire button-pusher, “anti-government militia.” It’s the same lazy M.O. they use when spooking the herd over “concealed carry killers,” right down to substituting a patchwork of media accounts for data, all the while failing to establish causation or even relevance.

But they do include some footnotes, not that this adds any validity, considering the references are to “news” stories that may or may not have been written with the same standards “upheld” by NJToday, and to further VPC “studies.” They also include some pictures to look at of old silencer ads, a graph of “legal” suppressor ownership (just to make things look scientific), and another curious list of bullet points taken from manufacturer promotional material, and from which VPC somehow draws the conclusion that the safest firearms are the ones that are least accurate!

No doubt a real study of suppressor ownership would produce similar results as a deconstruction of VPC’s  concealed carry hysteria, that “[T]he percentage of concealed-carry permit holders who have killed someone with a firearm comes to two one-thousandths of 1 percent.”

And that in turn built on the group’s longstanding tradition of deception, as exemplified by VPC head Josh Sugarmann exploiting fabricated public confusion over semi-autos and machine guns in order to help ban what are fraudulently referred to as “assault weapons”:

“The weapons’ menacing looks, coupled with the public’s confusion over fully automatic machine guns versus semi-automatic assault weapons—anything that looks like a machine gun is assumed to be a machine gun—can only increase the chance of public support for restrictions on these weapons. In addition, few people can envision a practical use for these weapons.”

It’s not just that Sugarmann & Co. don’t want you to have suppressors – they don’t want you to have anything. And they’re content to go after that goal one piece at a time as long as the donations keep coming in and keep their doors open. That appears to be a struggle, as they compete for relevance with a Bloomberg machine that has managed to turn the once-dominant Brady Campaign (formerly Handgun Control, Inc.) into an also-ran, and with noisemakers like the Coalition to Stop Gun Violence (formerly the National Coalition to Ban Handguns).

“Simple enough to say this organization has a website filled with distorted facts,” a Great Nonprofits review notes. “Less than 10% of the donations are utilized, the rest is expenses. Requesting their 990 they asked for money and postage. Three red flags for a person who is claiming to help stop violence but attacks the Bill of Rights and is vague about how his organization is going to do that on $50,000 a year with a $700,000 overhead. This one stinks.” (And per 2015 tax form filings hosted by the Guidestar nonprofit reporting service, $300K of that gets split evenly between Sugarmann and fellow traveler Kristen Rand.)

The thing is, in spite of the obvious deception, when garbage “studies” get promoted in the mainstream media, only a niche readership of activists will ever get to see them called out for what they really are. The average person will have no reason or incentive to question what they’re being told, and so will not realize they’re being swindled out of their rights and to be galvanized to oppose infringements. That’s why it’s up to those of us who are gun owner rights advocates to act as force multipliers and do what we can to share the truth where we think it will do some good.


Tangentially related: Speaking of a silencer threat, remember when ATF threatened suppressor owners with unregistered NFA firearm violations for owning an unspecified  quantity (a “stockpile”!) of Chore Boy pot scrubber pads?


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David Codrea’s opinions are his own. See “Who speaks for Oath Keepers?




David Codrea blogs at The War on Guns: Notes from the Resistance (, and is a field editor/columnist for GUNS Magazine. Named “Journalist of the Year” in 2011 by the Second Amendment Foundation for his groundbreaking work on the “Fast and Furious” ATF “gunwalking” scandal, he is a frequent event speaker and guest on national radio and television programs.



  1. And just how many murders are used by suppressed firearms? You want quiet use a knife or a garotte or just a plain old club ! The VPC are nothing but a bunch of jerks who spread lies to get the useful idiots to follow them.

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